Save the Date: SEO and PR Tie the Knot!

seo_and_pr_tie_the_knot
seo_and_pr_tie_the_knot
Kate Lobel
By Kate Lobel

Google’s relentless algorithm changes have sent countless SEOs kicking and screaming to the public relations altar. Luckily, this union is built to last!

Traditional and online marketing now fall under the same umbrella; the lines have officially blurred and one channel can’t thrive without the other. This marriage of new and old, dubbed “SEO PR”, is simply maximizing traditional public relations by combining the best practices of technology, linguistics, and PR tactics to create prominent search engine visibility.

This advanced coupling of tradition and innovation is faced with its own growing pains and struggles. Google has made it very clear: not all links are created equal. Rand Fishkin, SEO Guru at Moz explained, “SEO is actually a collection of best practices – including PR.” There are many tactics to be implemented to maximize each channel’s efforts. Some of these weighing factors include:

  • Anchor text from external links
  • External link popularity
  • Diversity of link sources
  • Keyword use in the title tags
  • Trustworthiness of domains in relation to others

Earn Trustworthy Links, Don’t Build Them

As in any relationship, trust is key and showing it is crucial. When conducting effective SEO PR, make sure you have the tools to provide your client with measurable results such as increased traffic to your website, keyword footprint, search engine rankings and conversions generated from hits. By garnering highly authoritative links, from Huffington Post or the LA Times, for example, you are also building rankings. When you secure a highly authoritative and respected link, search engine rankings usually skyrocket, lending credibility, overall brand esteem and building on the SEO PR matrimony.

Digital_Traditional PR

“SEO PR” I Do’s And Don’ts

Some useful tips that will strengthen the knot:

I Do’s!

  • Engage with editors via social channels before you reach out
  • Make sure you send your initial pitch at least 2 weeks before you want it to hit
  • Customize your pitch
    • Always include editors name and outlet
    • When dealing with higher tier press, reference a previous article they wrote, writing style, or reason why they should cover
  • Consider the time zones (New York editors are typically off email by 2pm PST)
  • Ask for a correction from the editor if your brand name/website is incorrect
  • Once you get a hit, push it through your social channels
  • Provide not only a good story for them to publish but quality (well written) content they can include
  • Make sure your content and story angle are relevant to the outlet you are pitching
  • Be patient but thorough with your follow ups (conduct three rounds max)
    • Follow up with bloggers one week; top-tier two weeks (varies for each editor)
    • Call for your third round of follow up (only to top-tier)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask bloggers for feedback – can be very useful and candid info
  • Reach back out to the same editors, even if you never received a response, just make sure it’s a different pitch
  • Include an image (print will need 300dpi, online should be at least 500px)

I Don’t…

  • Send an email with spelling and grammar errors (sounds nitpicky but editors will trash you; sometimes for good)
  • Fluff your pitch – instead be as succinct as possible
    • Note: Editors like to see bullets
  • Look spammy in your subject line – remember to create urgency and exclusivity; include brand name
  • Pitch on social media – they don’t like anything to be public for other editors to pick up
  • Forget to respond right away to someone interested
  • Don’t forget to thank them for their time/interest/placement
  • Forget to follow up
  • Disregard the domain authority (a great tool is the Moz toolbar)
  • Be afraid to talk like a human (especially to bloggers) – establish a brand voice and stick with it

Like in any relationship, there will be highs and lows. Although, for this marriage to truly succeed, it’s all about learning how a PR professional and an SEO can leverage each other to see utmost opportunity and the largest ROI. Relationships take communication, an understanding of each other’s metrics and an appreciation for each other’s efforts. This power-couple is an “exact match” made in heaven and an invaluable opportunity to take your digital marketing efforts to new heights.

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Kate is the director of Public Relations at Power Digital Marketing with an extenisve background in traditional media relations and digital marketing with the goal of bridging the gap between brand awareness and ROI.